Have you ever noticed that for the most part we do things to show other people? Most of us decorate our houses so that we can show them off to our friends and families; or we buy a new outfit and can’t wait to wear it to work or to the next get-together to show our friends or co-workers.
We’re always seeking validation and acceptance from others. I’m not immune; I do the same thing—well not so much with the decorating or the outfits—but with my thoughts and ideas. I put my thoughts and ideas out here and hope other people will accept them, and validate them with their comments or approval, and therefore, make me feel accepted.
Most of us find a way to create something that expresses our ideas, our beliefs, that intensely personal part of ourselves that exists within. As I said, with me it’s writing, for my spouse it’s drawing, and for one of my co-workers it’s music. But not everyone feels creative, and even those who do still try to find validation and acceptance through the creations of others.
I also read books and view movies with an eye toward validating my beliefs, my ideas (and because I enjoy reading and watching movies);-). And I know many others do the same. Yet two people can watch the same movie and come away with totally different perceptions as to whether it was good, simply because for one it contradicts what they think and believe, and for the other it validated what they think and believe.
I can think of several movies that have made me feel as if my views and concepts of the world were valid. My views as to how time and alternate realities works are echoed in a movie called Frequency, while the movie Dead Again reflects (for me) how life lessons can play out.
Another movie that I find fascinating, and which validates some of my ideas and concepts of how life is continuous is Dragonfly with Kevin Costner (of course, it helps that it uses my favorite dragonflies as its central symbol).
But I also find books to be a fascinating source of validation. One of my favorites, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, expresses beautifully the world of connections (cords, links, and threads) that lies just outside of our normal range of vision. While the Sookie Stackhouse series (by Charlaine Harris) validates my ability to “hear” people’s thoughts/emotions, and “know” what paths they might be contemplating.
I know some other folks find their validation through music (creating, playing, or listening to it), or from various arts such as painting, sketching, blowing glass, or sculpting (either creating it or looking at it). There are times I’ve been able to tap into what the other folks are feeling or seeing in regards to the music or art, and sometimes not. But then, there are many times that my friends don’t experience the same rush or moment of awe that I get from a passage in a book or movie, either.
Somehow, it doesn’t really matter what venue you get your sense of validation from, though, just as long as you do. Because I believe we all need validation; we all need acceptance. Some of us create the experience, some of us simply enjoy the creations, and some of us do a little of both. So, where do you find your validation and acceptance?